Buncombe County’s fiscal year 2021-22 budget — passed unanimously by the Board of Commissioners on June 15 — includes an effective property tax increase of 2 cents per $100 of valuation. It also includes $300,000 toward property tax relief grants.
The Asheville-based photographer established the James Vester Miller Historic Walking Trail to honor her master brickmason grandfather’s numerous local buildings.
The speaker series is part of a three-phase process to create and empower a joint Asheville-Buncombe County Reparations Commission. Once formed, the commission would be tasked with making short-, medium- and long-term recommendations to repair the damage caused by public and private systemic racism.
The policy required staff members to be fully vaccinated by June 1. Some former employees claim that it violates their civil liberties, while Shoji co-owner Roberta Jordan says safety of both customers and staff is her top priority.
Local artists and arts leaders discuss the state of racial justice in the creative community, one year after George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests.
Since investor-owned HCA Healthcare bought nonprofit Mission Health System in 2019, stories are increasingly common of long waits in the emergency room, unsanitary conditions, broken or missing equipment, patients having to lie in their own urine and feces, doctors leaving because of pay disputes and nurses weeping in the hallways because of stress and chronic understaffing.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place on Tuesday, June 8, during the regularly scheduled Council meeting. The final vote on whether to adopt the budget will take place on Tuesday, June 22.
Some predict high demand for residential and retail space, as illustrated by several development projects planned or under construction. There are also fears that rising real estate prices may eventually push out some of the artists who have helped make the RAD a magnet.
Work started May 17, and demolition of the 123-year-old monument to Zebulon Baird Vance in downtown Asheville is expected to take two weeks to complete, says city spokesperson Polly McDaniel. Costs to take down the structure block by block will reach roughly $114,000, while an additional $25,500 has been allocated for site restoration following the monument’s removal.
The land would be earmarked for a “transit-oriented development” designed to combine a larger transit center with affordable housing and commercial space.
“This is a workforce who has that trust, connection and inherent knowledge of what people are experiencing and are trained and equipped to address individual and community health,” says Evan Richardson, MAHEC’s director of community health integration. “This is a workforce that can really make an impact.”
The latest video surveillance products offer cloud-based data management and high-quality video footage that streams directly to a user’s smartphone. While local detectives express enthusiasm about adding the video footage captured by the cameras to their crime-fighting arsenal, they also note the limitations and privacy concerns of the technology.
Sybriea Lundy counts herself lucky to have been able to participate in programs offered by Light a Path, an Asheville-based nonprofit that brings yoga and movement to underserved populations, while serving the final 2 ½ years of her sentence for drug trafficking at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. The organization also helped Lundy reenter and connect with the Asheville community upon her release.
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has donated $9 million to MANNA FoodBank, the biggest gift in the nonprofit’s history. It comes not a moment too soon, as the organization faces a sudden rise in food insecurity and a facility pushed to its limits.
The proposed tax rate of 41.3 cents appears lower than the current rate of 42.89 cents, explained city Director of Finance Tony McDowell. However, the median tax bill will still go up from $995 to $1,215 — more than 22% — due to the 27% increase in median property value for Asheville residents assessed by this year’s Buncombe County revaluation.
2020 was the year of the nurse, proclaimed Greg Lowe, the president of HCA Healthcare’s North Carolina division. But Mission’s eight hospitals are now gearing up for a major nursing shortage, he told members of Asheville’s Council of Independent Business Owners.
The two rural areas in the county’s northwest and southeast emerged as the biggest pockets of need after an extensive analysis by county staff of high-speed internet availability. A contract with an internet provider to expand service could go before the Board of Commissioners in July.
HCA Healthcare, which owns and operates Mission Hospital in Asheville, reported this month that it made $1.4 billion in profits for the first three months of 2021, more than double the amount for the same period last year.
For many Asheville residents, seeing a bear at their trash can is a bucket-list item, the pinnacle of mountain living. But as exciting as a bear sighting can be, interactions with the furry, four-legged natives can quickly spell problems for bears and humans alike.
Miranda Williams has been socially engaged since her freshman year. Now a senior at Asheville High School, she continues to speak out for racial justice.
In July 2019, former Buncombe County Commissioner Ellen Frost was charged with 11 federal crimes related to her misappropriation of roughly $575,000 in county funds in 2015 and 2016. Without obtaining board approval, Frost partnered with former County Manager Wanda Greene to spend taxpayer money on sponsorships of three equestrian enterprises in the name of the Asheville Regional Airport.